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Becoming a Blessed Church: Forming a Church of Spiritual Purpose, Presence, and Power Paperback – December 10, 2004
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Graham Standish has cultivated a church with vibrant purpose, contagious presence, and compassionate power. Now he invites us not to copy it, but to create a culture of discernment in the context of our own communities. (Kent Ira Groff, Founding Mentor, Oasis Ministries for Spiritual Development, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania)
Graham Standish and the people of Calvin Presbyterian Church in Zelienople, Pennsylvania, have together discovered something most mainline congregations don’t know: how to create a church that is open at its foundations to God’s purpose, presence, and power. Standish shows us how a church can become spiritually deep and both inwardly and outwardly healthy on every level, how God’s blessings can flow through everything the church does, and how members can actually experience and encounter God. His vision for churches is exciting and compelling, and congregations that dare to discover this path Standish believes God is calling them to walk will be truly blessed! (Walter Kallestad, Senior Pastor, Community Church of Joy, Glendale, Arizona)
I am deeply grateful to Graham Standish for his thoughtful, practical, and inspiring masterpiece, Becoming a Blessed Church. Now, if anyone asks me to recommend one book that a church's leaders could read together to help them envision a better, more vibrant future, this is where I'll point them. He presents a vision that is accessible to and legitimate for churches across the spectrum because it gets beyond old polarities—evangelical, mainline, traditional, contemporary, etc.—and leads to a better, richer, more fruitful path. (Brian McLaren, speaker, pastor, and author of "The Road We Make By Walking")
About the Author
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I have been pastor of Calvin Presbyterian Church in Zelienople, Pennsylvania since January of 1996, and a pastor since 1988. Calvin Church is living out a vision to be a church rooted in prayer and a passionate desire to seek and do God's will in everything. Over the past 14 years, Calvin Church has more than doubled in size, and has garnered national attention in several studies, including one by Diana Butler-Bass, who included Calvin Church in her groundbreaking book, Christianity for the Rest of Us, which researched churches across the country that are leading Christians to renewal through an emphasis on spirituality and spiritual practices (www.dianabutlerbass.com). Our approach to church is an alternative to the traditional or evangelical approaches dominating the Christian church realm.
I am the author of six books: In God's Presence: Encountering, Experiencing, and Embracing the Holy in Worship (2010), Humble Leadership (2007), Becoming the Blessed Church (2005), Discovering the Narrow Path (2002), Paradoxes for Living (2001), and Forming Faith in a Hurricane (1998). I have contributed to five others: Living Our Story: Narrative Leadership and Congregational Culture (2010), From Nomads to Pilgrims (2006), Let Us Pray: Reformed Prayers for Christian Worship (2003) and The Dictionary of Christian Spiritual Formation (2003). I have also written numerous articles in spirituality, spiritual direction, and spirituality in congregations.
I am an adjunct professor at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary Doctor of Ministry program and Certificate in Spiritual Formation Program, focusing in the areas of spirituality and congregational leadership. I have served on the boards of the Samaritan Counseling Center and editorial board of Presence, the journal of Spiritual Directors International.
Top Customer Reviews
The approach is pretty simple. Invite God to all of your church meetings, not just your worship services. Start your business meetings with devotions, and dedicate significant time and energy to the Lord. Pray fervently about your church's decisions and needs, and trust that God answers prayers. Let this approach become the way things are always done at every gathering no matter how large or small. Call on the Holy Spirit to take part in the decision-making process.
Being an accountant, I can reconcile accounts and plan budgets with the best of them. However, after reading this book, I now realize that it's okay if my church's forecasted giving doesn't quite measure up to the planned expenses. It's okay if those expenses are a result of what the Spirit is calling our church to do. Pastor Standish includes many accounts, personal and anecdotal, of funding arriving on time from unplanned sources to allow a church organization to fulfill its mission.
The book is filled with so much more.Read more ›
The key strengths in this book include its emphasis on prayer in the leadership of the church and the book's invaluable appendices. The author's approach to church leadership could be said to be saturated in prayer. This saturation is particularly evident in the author's discussion of "Prayerful Discernment of our Purpose." I thought I had been prayerfully discerning God's purposes pretty well until I read this section of the book.Read more ›
Intentional, corporate, and private prayer....quiet discerning, waiting and listening for God to move is what is required.. Every church is not called to grow numerically. It is not about attracting members.. Some are called to be missional in their community, making disciples and sending forth, teaching and helping believers to grow deeper spiritually. God has many purposes...but He mostly waits for us to worship Him and allow His power to be manifested. We are then blessed to be a blessing in this world.....leading others to a personal relationship with Jesus.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great book for every church that seeks to embody the will of God! I highly recommend it.Published 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
This is a very thought provoking bood. I am enjoying reading it and thinking about the suggestions.Published 8 months ago by Sue B
Well written and a useful resource for all church leaders.Published 8 months ago by James E. Marcum
At our church we are currently working together to become a church that lives out our belief that God has a purpose for us in this place at this time. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Ricki Noble
Very helpful for our church leadership -- the appendices in particular.Published 17 months ago by Jack Riley
It was interesting and very easy to read, written in every day language. Examples emphasized points to be stressed. Not to large to feel defeated before one got started.Published 24 months ago by Bonnie Kautz
An outstanding book for any pastor who cares about serving as God wants. The author gives a brilliant presenrptation from his own experience as a Presbyterian pastor. Read morePublished on August 29, 2013 by Norman Desrosiers